Welcome back to Golf News Net’s weekly fantasy golf picks, presented by DraftKings.com. Each week of the PGA Tour season, we’ll present our top picks for that week’s tournament and make recommendations for DraftKings’ one-week fantasy leagues.
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This week’s Quicken Loans National is a bit of a shot in the dark for two reasons:
1. Only five players in this week’s Official World Golf Ranking top 50 are in the field
2. Robert Trent Jones Golf Club hosts this event for the first time and a PGA Tour sanctioned event for the first time since the 2005 Presidents Cup.
In other words, there isn’t a deep bench and no one’s ever seen this course competitively except Tiger Woods. So, if it looks like a week of chalk, that’s why.
We went pretty stock last week, though, and did well with Jason Day and Bubba Watson. So let’s try it again.
On to the picks!
1. Rickie Fowler — Fowler’s the class of the field and a two-time worldwide winner this year. He’s not the most consistent guy in the field, but he has the highest ceiling on an unknown course that commands an aggressive approach game.
2. Justin Rose — It wouldn’t be hard to make a case for Rose as the No. 1 guy in our ranking this week. He makes plenty of birdies per round, and he has to feel good coming off a T-6 effort at the Open heading into a title defense — albeit at a new track.
3. Tony Finau — This is just the kind of course where Finau could bust loose. He can use his massive length as an edge and parlay his aggressive style into a slew of birdies.
4. Will Wilcox — Wilcox bailed on the Canadian Open last week to rest a nagging wrist problem, and it was a well-deserved vacation after securing his 2015-16 PGA Tour card at the Barbasol Championship. Playing free and loose should suit Wilcox well.
5. Pat Perez — Perez has become a reliable player this year, snagging a T-18 finish at the Canadian Open. He hasn’t been a threat to win but twice this year, but he’s been a practical lock for four rounds and a good check.
6. Jimmy Walker — Walker has been playing a light schedule since the Texas Swing Part Deux, hopping just in the two Opens in the last two months. Nothing special in those starts, so we’re basing this on his talent.
7. Justin Thomas — Eventually, Justin Thomas is going to figure this out. He’s been off the last few weeks and is rested to play this week. He’s in the top 10 on the PGA Tour in birdie average, but we know his weekend struggles. Was in the mix at the Deere with a T-5 in his last start.
8. Russell Knox — Roo has missed cuts in his last two starts, but the Scot has a tremendous run in his prior seven starts, earning five top-25 finishes. A former 59 shooter on the Web.com Tour, Knox has the moxey to go deep.
9. Stewart Cink — The 2009 Open champion is playing some modestly good golf this year, including a T-5 last week at the Canadian Open. Most of Cink’s good starts have been in events where scoring is a little tougher than usual. That’s the QL National.
10. Michael Putnam — Yup, Michael Putnam is the dark horse this week. He doesn’t make a ton of birdies per round, but he’s one of the better players on Tour from mid-range. That might come in handy at RTJ. Significant improvement in his last three starts: T-60 to T-28 to T-11.
My DraftKings team for this week:
1. Tony Finau — $9,800
2. Will Wilco — $8,900
3. Shawn Stefani — $8,800
4. Pat Perez — $8,400
5. Michael Putnam — $7,300
6. Sam Saunders — $6,600